By Jonathan Louis Duckworth

she prepares her face

to be perfect for death

rouge, a dash of mercury on her cheek

a golden ring for each finger

she decided a long time ago

only the ocean could understand her

constancy of tides,

its thirst for light

slow sighing

the most beautiful corpse she’ll be

when she tips over the balustrade

of her widow’s watch

down to the rocks

communing with the foam

but when the fishing boat finds her

drags her up from the wrack

swaddled in a net

no one will notice her face

against the smell

simple truth

disguised by vanity:

what gives itself to sea

will stink of sea

Jonathan Louis Duckworth is an MFA student at Florida International University and a reader for the Gulf Stream Magazine. His fiction, poetry, and non-fiction appears in or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Fourteen Hills, PANK Magazine, Literary Orphans, Cha, Superstition Review, and elsewhere